Fenice 105: The Ultimate Execution Of Form & Function
The Project

Some of the more enjoyable stories that I’ve had the privilege to work on for Speedhunters are the ones that are relatable, motivational, and a bit out of left field.

Relatable and motivational are pretty easy concepts to understand. Those kinds of stories leave you feeling energized to tackle your own problems, or get the creative juices going to try a new approach. But when you look at something as extreme as this 1993 Lancia Delta Integrale, you’re probably wondering how it could ever fall into the category.


Our first meeting with the ‘Fenice 105′ was inside the Makuhari Messe at the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon. Back then it looked like the Lancia’s owner, Masato Hatano of Cars Hatano, had thrown everything at it in order to achieve his goals of being the fastest at his local track and also able to embarrass Lancia’s Italian exotic rivals, Ferrari and Lamborghini.


To be fair, he has thrown the kitchen sink and more at the Delta, but it’s the way that Masato has done so that makes this story more than it seems at face value. Allow me to explain…

Out of Left Field

When it comes to his Delta, Masato is a man of passion. It’s been in his possession for over 15 years, and during that time he has played around with different setups and drawn sketches of his ultimate vision for the car.


One day, a Cars Hatano customer named Masashi Matsumoto stopped by the shop to chat and see what new cars Masato had in stock. Masashi is a designer, and he has a long history of working with top design houses in Italy. His graduation thesis project at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan was a Lamborghini concept.

Interested in what Masashi would think of his ideas, Masato introduced him to his Delta project, sharing some of his rough sketches.

Rear red

Fully intrigued by the idea, Masashi offered his expertise and rendered a few drawings for Masato.


The concept was to add muscle and volume (volume being 105mm to each side of the car, hence where the ‘105’ comes from in the project’s name) to the Lancia without completely ruining the proportions. Masato wanted to stay true to Giorgetto Giugiaro’s original design.


Masashi knew that in order to make his design visions come to life, they were going to need help from an expert modeler. Sano of Sano Design was the man for the job.

Having worked on projects with Masashi in the past, Sano’s background dates back to Ataka Engineering, building replica Lancias in Japan, and a stint at Mitsuoka before starting his own company.

Unbeknownst to Masashi at the time, Sano had entered a car in the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon and had won ‘Outright Champion’ of the show for that year. This meant Sano had a free entry pass for a car in 2019, but didn’t have a car to enter. Masato’s Lancia was the perfect candidate, and so the wheels were finally set in motion.

Not Your Ordinary TAS Build

Even though there was a deadline for the Fenice 105, getting into TAS was never a goal for Masato. His objective was always the same, hence why there is more detail in this build than you’d ever normally find at the Makuhari Messe come Tokyo Auto Salon time.


Yes, bringing the overall design that Masashi had created was paramount, but everything needed to be functional, while looking stunning.


And I do mean everything. Those stripes on the rear fenders? They’re actually stickers that protect the paint from stone chips. They also match the angle of the stripes on the rear wing’s end plates.


But that’s just a little detail. The obsession with striking a perfect balance of form and function can be found everywhere. All of the bodywork additions in black are carbon fiber and have undergone various computational analysis to ensure the air flow is being channeled in an advantageous way. Masashi along with other industry experts tackled this important aspect of the project.


Vents and aero flicks not only guide the air, but also create vortices to help extract hot air, such as that found in the engine bay.


Various case studies were run on the swan-neck GT wing, and the blade angle can be adjusted from -5 to +17 degrees. In its most effective configuration the wing can generate up to 1,100kg of downforce at 260km/h.


The wing stays needed to be able to not only transfer that force directly to the rear tires, but be strong as well.


The first few iterations, though effective, were a bit on the chubby side. The version we saw at TAS weighed almost 40kg for the set, and that was just unacceptable. A friend who worked at DOME was called on to help put the wing and front bumper on a diet.


To ensure the wing would not to deform with 1,000+kg of force and be lightweight, DOME created dry carbon pieces with a special layer pattern. To protect and add more rigidity to the front bumper, DOME added a layer of carbon-Kevlar.


While the aero was being sorted, more industry friends were brought in to look after the mechanical aspects of the car. A quick look underneath (or through one of the many vents) reveals that bespoke anodized billet suspension components have replaced the original hardware to allow for fully adjustable geometry.


What’s under the vented hood remains pretty similar to what Dino shot in his 2019 TAS spotlight. A few changes have been made to iron out all of the kinks, but the star of the show remains the engine. The displacement has increased from 2.0L to 2.3L thanks to a custom full-counter stroker crankshaft attached to OS Giken forged pistons and connecting rods. With the boost wound up and the engine tuned through a MoTeC 800 ECU, the result is around 600hp.


Thanks to the fenders, wide Enkei NT03RR wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan A050 rubber provide an increase in grip and functional stance.


Like the exterior, the interior needed to strike a balance of form and function. Most of the creature comforts had to be removed or replaced with carbon for weight savings, but the factory dashboard remains.


Note: As the day was used for aerodynamic testing and running in the engine, the interior was more of a mess than it would be otherwise.


The top of the custom roll cage couldn’t be fully welded in the car, so the roof was removed and refitted with a carbon fiber upgrade.


With the original dashboard in use, the team were able to neatly integrate a MoTeC C1212 LCD display screen.


Masashi then created custom displays that cycle through Group A Evo and Group A 16V-style instruments and a diagnostic screen. He even hid Easter eggs within the program, such as ‘Abarth’ lighting up when you hit redline. Because details matter.


I could go on for hours just talking about the small details that almost no one would ever realize exist – like the blacked-out radiator grill, machined from a single piece of billet aluminum.


But it’s not the attention to detail that makes the story relatable. It’s the fact that this was and still is a passion project. It began with Masato’s vision, and drew in friends and people from all walks of life and industries.


The idea of doing something entirely by yourself because it’s better to do so has always confused me. Perhaps your friends might not be industry experts, but they can still provide different perspectives on your project ideas, and vice versa.


The Fenice 105 is a perfect example of the saying ‘teamwork makes for dream work’.

‘But Ron, how does it sound on the track?’ Ah, I’m glad you asked… Enjoy.

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography

The Cutting Room Floor


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This is exactly the definition of SpeedHunter.


yes and no. I have asked repeatedly to feature bike as the name "speed" implies anything fast but there has been no response. Hardly, if any, bike article. Speedhunters should feature fast bikes / classis bikes etc. Motogp orWSBK would do.


Based on the company's founding connection to EA and their beloved Need For Speed franchise, it doesn't surprise me that they keep it for the most part strictly car-only content. That said if I remember correctly they have actually done the odd motorcycle post.


may be one or two bike article that's it. May be they have little or no knowledge about bike


I personally haven't seen you ask me about bikes but there isn't anything stopping us from bike coverage. I've done one story but that was a cafe racer vs "speed". I believe Dino also did a story or so on bikes but you wouldn't be wrong to say there isnt much coverage on bikes. Can try and rectify this in the future ^^


Beautiful car and it sounds great! It nice to see that the owner is properly using the car for its original intended purpose. So many owners get scared to beat on them once they hit that level because of all the shear level of investment its taken to get to that point. I'm glad Masato never lost sight of the reason why I was building it.


Same here! And it's still evolving.


whoa this is an absolute killer execution!


Among the crowning jewels of Speedhunters. In awe and delighted I'm not the only one with sketches everywhere of ideas - definitely a must if someone wants to build something special rather than buy into a look.

Also, "Teamwork makes dreams work", innit? It's not like teamwork creates more work for dreams, rather less, easier.


Lol guess that too I suppose


That’s a masterpiece, thank you for sharing with us


But of course! Thank you for stopping by and reading


Definitely a man of exquisite taste, and impeccable details. To have such finite details in areas that most would argue less important, he's like a chip Foose mixed in with Steph Papadakis and the guy that made the coupe conversion of the Delta Integrale that went on in the Grand Tour. Thanks for sharing. Truly love the Motec display that was customized for such accuracy.


Totally agree. The details really matter and they hunted down / continually hunt down the smallest of details to improve. Thanks for stopping by to read!


Jeeeez that widebody goes so hard
Crazy how this became an actual build and it came out so well!


Right??? The amount of planning that went into everything meant it had to come out well. Everything thing was checked, checked again, and finally checked one more time


This and the LaSupra are some of the craziest Delta in existence today!

I genuinely love digital meters that tuners/programmers replicate the original gauge designs. And I am really surprised to see that actual racing experts like Dome helping in the build!


The digital meter is epic. Masashi learned how to do all of it for the build too so if you can put the time in, anyone can do it. At least that's what I tell myself lol. And ya, friends in ALL areas


Kudos to Ron! This is it, this is the quality content I am looking for on SH!

Thank You!


No problem Luke! Glad you enjoyed it!


not to water down this creation but with that attention to details to the extertior i was expecting a cleaner engine bay (and interior which maybe little bit messy due to the aero test).


Ditto the engine bay. They were still breaking in the motor that day ( and troubleshooting the day before lol)


This build is the best one I've come around overall in the past 3 years. It just hits different.


Hahaha glad you enjoyed it!


You would think this was designed by Adrian Newey himself with this level of thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and care in pulling it together! Could some areas be better - yes. Does it take away from my appreciation for the outcome? Absolutely not! Adding to the general consensus, this is one of the top builds out of SH in recent memory on execution.

Even better to see it used on track with love. Too many new owners of older legends are afraid to crack open the packaging of their toys, more comfortable admiring them in their garages and parking lots over coffee for fear of rising values

Great write up and shots Ron - thanks for sharing


Thank you for reading it! I'm glad Masato hasn't forgotten why he's started this in the first place and continually tracks / develops the project.


So cool to see several levels by which this car can be appreciated. There's an overall level of design, the small details on each component, the engineering, etc. What a car!


They really tried and hit every aspect - which I agree makes it so special!


As Speedhunters rarely feature bike, watch this 18 second video. Motogp (Andrea Dovisiozo's Ducati) vs 2015 Mercedes Benz F1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG7k8Ot0nNk MotoGP 0 - 300 km/h: 9.2sec. F1 1 0 - 300 km/h: 10.2sec. Watch 2015 Silverstone, England Motogp in the rain and listen to what Nick Harris (the commentator). said. " F1 fans at Silverstone eat your heart out.. this is Motogp in the rain..." Rossi clocked 300 km/h before he had to brake.


That is some extensive work. I love to see those with a passion for a certain vehicle go to greats lengths to make improvements on it. I will admit, I do not know much about Lancia but this is one awesome build. Love this article Ron.


Same! It makes you interested in that certain vehicle and want to research why it is so special to that owner. Glad you enjoyed it!


Pretty awesome car, can someone please confirm whether that was actually 1100kgs’ of downforce at 260KPh from that single element wing?


According to their analysis and fluid dynamics simulations, it should produce the claimed figures.


Cool car, 1100kg’s of down force at 260KPh from the single plane rear wing sounds a bit optimistic though.


Wow. These kind of builds make a lot of the features here seem like whimsical art projects. I really wish we got more high effort stuff like this. Somebody willfully dedicated DAYS of their limited life to this and it shows. God bless everyone involved in this.


Lol it's a bit hard to match this kind of execution and overall build without friends in pretty high places (and money lol). Not to take away from this or any build. The key is like you said, multiple people spent many days ( months honestly from what I heard lol) and sleepless nights because of the passion to make it work. If there's passion behind the project then it's all good by my eyes ^^